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Old 04-03-11, 11:09 PM   #1
keLston
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Default Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

So I built a new computer finally and decided i'd finally jump on SLI and with my luck apparently crashed head first into a brick wall.

I narrowed it down to SLI being the problem, however, I don't know how to further narrow it down to determine if it is motherboard, SLI bridge, or something else.

Symptoms:

When I first built the system, got all the drivers up and had everything installed. It seemed just fine. Installed a game (World of Warcraft, go ahead and laugh), played for about 2 hours without a single problem. Performance was wonderful (but then again it's WoW). No hitches. I go to bed, and that's when the problems started. Next day, I turn on the computer, try to log into Windows, doesn't work, get the dreaded nvlddmkm BSOD. Reboot into safemode, uninstall drivers, figure since i'm on the new beta 270s i'd go back to the most recent 266 WHQLs. I try to install them, computer says no and BSOD me midway through the driver install (0000003b system service exception on the ntoskernel).

I rage. And then I panic. And then I settle down, go through standard diagnostics. Figure maybe bad ram. Run 2 hours of passes of memtest. No problems. Run Western Digital's HD diags, no problems. Ran sfc /scannow, no problems.

So I go back in, successfully install the 266 drivers still uncertain as to why that 0000003b happened (though most google results come up as generally driver problems so I figure hey, video card drivers are bad so i'm tryin to fix it right here).

266 drivers are installed. Everything seems okay. Get Dragon Age 2 installed play that for a few hours, no problems. Play WoW again (I raid, sue me). No problems. Shut down my computer to get some food. Turn it back on a couple hours later. PROBLEMS, DEAR GOD WHY.

My mouse becomes unresponsive. Attempts to move it are completely laggy and jerky, it's basically unusable. So I shut down again. Figure since major issues are stemming from video cards, I take out the second one. Boot up, viola. System starts up without issue, no mouse problems. Everything seems perfect.

Do some googling. Some suggestion say maybe i'm an idiot and put the SLI bridge the wrong way (though most people seem to suggest it doesn't matter which way and there doesn't seem to be any indication in the manual that there's directionality) so on two separate boot ups I try the SLI bridge both ways. Same issue, my mouse is unusable. So more searching says that I could try running SLI without the SLI bridge.

Apparently not, trying to SLI without the bridge results in my system starting up in basic VGA mode with Windows telling me that there was a problem with both video cards so it disabled them both.

Individually, I can verify that both cards are functional. I don't know if it matters, but I popped in a PCI-X sound card into the PCI-X slot the 2nd video card occupied for the time being. Figured it would at least do some very minor testing (?) maybe. The sound card seems to be functioning.

What can I do to further determine exactly the root of the problem? Is it a bad SLI bridge? Is it a bad mobo? Is it something else?

System specs:

i5-2500k
Asus P8P67 WS Revolution
8GB DDR3-1600 ram
2x 64GB SSDs (1 boot, 1 apps)
1x 1TB HDD
Theoretically 2x GTX 460 1GB (currently on 1)
X-Fi Titanium HD (occupying the slot)
Windows 7 Pro 64 (non SP1 since tech sites are recommending not installing)
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Old 04-03-11, 11:10 PM   #2
Greedo
 
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Default Re: Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

using default bios settings on the mobo?

what is your power supply?
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Old 04-03-11, 11:19 PM   #3
keLston
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Default Re: Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

Ah can't believe I forgot that on my specs, yea i'm running defaults. No o/c. Have the "normal" option selected in the EFI.

Running a Corsair TX 750W
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Old 04-03-11, 11:27 PM   #4
Greedo
 
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Default Re: Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

reinstall drivers again, clean install.

check all the connections and try re-seating the cards.

clear cmos.

why not try SP1?
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Old 04-04-11, 12:25 AM   #5
keLston
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Default Re: Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

Haven't yet retried SLI yet, going through some basic diagnostic procedures I figured I missed in case.

Did install SP1 though.

Tried each card individually in the 2nd slot to see if it was working. As I write this, I have a game running in the background with the card in the 2nd slot. Been running for the last 15 minutes or so seemingly without issue.
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Old 04-04-11, 01:28 AM   #6
keLston
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Default Re: Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

No luck ):

Installed SP1.

Did a clean reinstall of drivers complete with driversweeper.

Reseated the cards (after the testing each card in the 2nd slot).

Cleared CMOS.

Found a spare SLI bridge connector so figured i'd try that one. Popped in both cards, enabled SLI. Everything looked fine.

Apparently, on initial enabling of SLI everything works, but problems arise the moment I turn off my computer and then turn it back on and try it again.
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Old 04-04-11, 02:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

Just a thought, but are you running the latest bios on the motherboard. I have seen issues before and an update may help.
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Old 04-04-11, 03:09 AM   #8
keLston
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Default Re: Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

Yea I am. It came shipped with it I guess since it's a B3.

So the only theory i've come up with is the slots i'm using. I'm wondering if it matters what slots you use? I've never done SLI before.

My mobo has 4 PCI-X slots (all x16).

Initially, I used slots 2 and 4. I tried slot 2 and 3. Unfortunately, because of my heatsink, I am unable to use the first PCI-X slot. This is where my theory stems from. Does this matter?

For some reason, Noctua's website decided not to mention that their heatsink prevents your use of the first pci-x socket and no review of the heatsink anywhere mentions this possibility.
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Old 04-04-11, 03:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Running into major problems on my first attempt at SLI

Quote:
Originally Posted by keLston View Post
Yea I am. It came shipped with it I guess since it's a B3.

So the only theory i've come up with is the slots i'm using. I'm wondering if it matters what slots you use? I've never done SLI before.

My mobo has 4 PCI-X slots (all x16).

Initially, I used slots 2 and 4. I tried slot 2 and 3. Unfortunately, because of my heatsink, I am unable to use the first PCI-X slot. This is where my theory stems from. Does this matter?

For some reason, Noctua's website decided not to mention that their heatsink prevents your use of the first pci-x socket and no review of the heatsink anywhere mentions this possibility.
That maybe the issue. I know it's a hassle. But are you able to run the stock heatsink and retry the games again. At least then it would rule this out one way or another. But this maybe your problem I feel.
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